Top 5 New Releases Of 2015

The author's favorite new album of the year, Floating Points' ‘Elaenia' ROGER BONG PHOTO

The author’s favorite new album of the year, Floating Points’ ‘Elaenia’ ROGER BONG PHOTO

The end of a year is a great time to discover new music because it’s usually when bloggers, DJs, music critics and the like compile their “Top” lists of the year. Last week, I featured my top five favorite reissues of the year, which you can read at metrohnl.com. This one here offers up my five favorite new releases from 2015 in no particular order, although Floating Points’ album debut Elaenia takes the win, in my opinion. Let’s start there.

1) Floating Points – Elaenia — An incredible debut album from the prolific DJ, producer, record collector and — get this — neuroscientist, also known as Sam Shepherd. Taking a new role as composer and arranger for Elaenia, Shepherd has ingeniously inscribed an elegant blend of electronic, jazz and spiritual music into the seven tracks here.

2) Tommy Guerrero – Perpetual — Here’s a perfect soundtrack to a rainy day, study time or a serious chill session. The California skateboarder/songwriter has found a way to bake his songs into the pavement and let the twangy guitar solos and driving bass lines rise slowly back into the atmosphere as if they were ephemeral, quickly evaporating into the humid Hawaiian air.

3) Fabiano do Nascimento – Danca dos Tempos — I’m a sucker for Brazilian music, and for releases on the Now Again label based in California. While primarily a home for excellent reissues of obscure world funk and psychedelic rock music, Now Again gives us a new release filled with mostly folkloric Brazilian tunes brought into the future by way of talented 30-something guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento.

4) The Spandettes All I’ve Got To Give 7″ — This is a Canadian trio covering a local tune originally recorded in Honolulu in the late 1970s by a band called Lemuria. The Spandettes expressed their affinity for Lemuria’s gospel soul/funk music last year with a cover of the band’s Hunk Of Heaven, and have now followed up with a sweet, soulful cover of All I’ve Got To Give. Unfortunately, the 7″ is only in Japan; I’m not sure why. But if you’re down to do some digging, this tune is worth the extra effort!

5) Domenique Dumont - Comme ca — A mysterious, quirky EP that offers vintage-like dance vibes somewhere between French pop, bossa nova and Afrobeat, until dropping us into the ocean with an underwater dub followed by a slow-motion balearic tune called Coral Castle. Simply feel-good music here. I only wish the artist would reveal more about himself.

I hope you’ve found a few more favorites to add to your shelf. I’d love to hear what you think of these releases above. Shoot me an email at info@alohagotsoul.com. Happy listening!

ROGER RUNS A BLOG-TURNED RECORD LABEL: ALOHAGOTSOUL.COM